The Devil in the White City

An absolutely superb book I read years ago. Then again most of Larson’s books are truly superb.

Larts & Etters

Full disclosure: I read wayyyy too much fiction & very little non-fiction. I used to aim for one non-fiction book a month, but even that was too much. When Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City popped up on my book club’s “to read” list, I was stoked. Book club! Non-fiction! Together at last!

An almost complete summary in 50 words or less: Chicago wins 1893 world’s fair bid without time to properly plan. Chaos ensues. Meanwhile, a charming murderer is charmingly murdering. The fair’s a hit! The murderer is a psychopath! The Ferris wheel is invented! And the peasants rejoice.

The good news is that I learned an assload about the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, including what products made their debuts there – Juicy Fruit, Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix, Shredded Wheat, zippers… I also learned something about architecture, which is more than I knew before I read…

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